Friday, June 9, 2017

Crisis+Quotations: Comey, May, Red Scare, Chomsky, Soft Coup - Aphorisms

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1. Summary
2. Quotations
3. Crisis Files

This is a Nederlog of Friday, June 9, 2017.

1. Summary

This is a crisis log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:

I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I probably will continue with it, but on the moment I have several problems with my computer, my modem, the company that is supposed to take care that my site is visible, and my health.

It may be that I'll be off for a few weeks, that is, I will publish nothing or little for a few weeks. I don't know yet, but I will keep you informed in Nederlog.

And what I will do for the moment - since I am still looking at 35 sites every morning - is to list the items I selected, but without any of my comments. Today I selected five items, and they are below and link to the originals, but on the moment I have no comments, basically because that takes too much work on the moment.

There is a previous Nederlog of today, about my websites (that may be of some importance for those who like to read them).

2. Quotations

As I have said above, I am writing less these weeks for various reasons. These are the second ten of my aphoristical reactions to Chamfort's aphorisms:
It is very easy to moralize about others when one's belly is full, and one is not in danger for uttering one's opinions.

Almost all men are moral failures and frauds by their very own moral norms.

The fewer social ties, that is, the less is the chance to be found out, the more likely ordinary men will lie to others.

Almost all ordinary social behavior is fraudulent: People would not act socially as they do, if they did not fear punishment or disapproval for not doing it, or if they did not expect advantanges or praise from doing it.

Ordinary men naturally assume all men act from self-interest only, and indeed this is generally true of ordinary men, apart from their friends and family.

There is genuine altruism, but it is personal and limited.

Most saints are frauds.

Rationally speaking, it is useless to consider morals without realizing that the greatest part of all moral speaking and acting is posturing or hypocrisy.

Very few people - in modern western societies - act morally and fairly to others, if this does not conform to their own interests, and they do not fear being found out and punished.

Cynics often have said that books of morals and sermons make no real difference, because people are hypocrites anyway. These cynics forget that people are not moral because they believe in morals, but because they expect to be found out and punished when they behave or speak counter to the moral norms of their society.

Few men have been converted by books of morals or sermons, but since all men are ideological apes, and rationalizing social animals, they need to acquire some system of beliefs, desires, ends and values to orient, guide and behave themselves, and understand others.

The great handicap of the small minority of the fair, the honest, the reasonable and the rational, is that the great majority is neither fair, nor honest, nor reasonable, nor rational, and especially not to those who are not members of their own group.

Philosophers and theologians who do not know science or mathematics are like the congenitally blind who dogmatize about painting.

It does not require great talents of any kind to behave morally and decently to others - all it usually requires in ordinary society is some character, some honesty, some self-control, and a little altruism or empathy.

If only a few intelligent men and women reach similar conclusions about human frailties as a few intellectually less privileged reach, it seems few people are really sane.

As soon as intellectual ideas are involved, that are remote from everyday practice and common sense, or ideas which strongly involve the emotions, such as religious or political ideas, most men cease to be rational.

Very few men know how to be social without lying or posturing. Almost all social behavior is fraudulent, like almost all public speaking is cant.

There is a lot more from where the above comes from.

3. Crisis Files

I have been writing on the crisis since September 1, 2008 (Dutch) and with considerably more attention since June 10, 2013 (English).

If you check out the
crisis index you will find that I wrote in over eight years nearly 1600 files, that nearly all consisted of a reference to one or more articles that were partially quoted and mostly commented.

I will continue with that, simply because I think the crisis is a very important social, political and economical event, but meanwhile I have turned 67 and need a little rest,
so what I'll be doing the coming weeks (at least), is selecting 3 to 6 files from the 35
sites I consult every morning to see what's happening in the world of politics and econonomics, and present them, but now without my comments.

Here is today's selection:
1. James Comey, a Washington Operator, Knows How to Play the

2. Theresa May in Danger of Losing Her Majority in U.K.
3. America’s Real Red Scare
4. Noam Chomsky: Trump Administration’s Legislative Agenda Is
     Uniquely Cruel, Even for the Far Right
5. ‘Soft Coup’ on Trump, Hiding in Plain Sight
These are all well worth reading.

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